Behold, a paper mache sperm whale and giant squid forever locked in mortal deep sea combat! They are designed to hang as a complete articulated unit – pull gently down on the squid, and the whale’s chompy jaw shuts and the flukes rise! See how it works:
The paper mache sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) measures 45cm from head to tail, and the giant squid (Architeuthis dux) measures 29cm from tentacle tip to tail. Hand built in paper mache, using a variety of junk modelling techniques, the pair are painted in acrylic and finished with 3 coats of tough varnish.
Whale and squid care
If they get dusty, just wipe them clean with a dampened cloth. They should not be dropped, left outside, trodden on, exposed to long periods of dampness, or left in reach of pets or children!They are not a toy.
The sperm whale is an astonishing creature!
This whale is the world largest predator at 52 feet (16 metres) long. It has 40 cone-shaped teeth on its lower jaw that fit into sockets on its upper jaw, which is toothless. It can dive down to 2km, and has amazing evolutionary adaptations that enable it to withstand and function at these great depths. Its head can be a quarter to a third of its entire length and contains a fatty, waxy substance called spermaceti. Spermaceti may also be used to control buoyancy and is used for echo-location and communication with other members of its family group. It is still found in all the world’s oceans, despite being hunted remorselessly in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Happily, the sperm whale is now no longer hunted and populations are recovering.
I have been lucky enough to see the mighty sperm whale in New Zealand, and in 2017 in the Azores.
The giant squid is a massive deep sea mollusc (in the same taxonomic class as an octopus or cuttlefish) and is a favourite meal of the sperm whale. They can grow up to 43 feet (13ms long) from tail to the tip of their longest tentacle. They have 8 arms and 2 longer tentacles each equipped with a club at the end. Sperm whales are frequently seen with scars on their bodies which are probably caused by giant squid fighting back.
This painting is now in a private collection in Buckinghamshire and is shown here for your viewing pleasure. My daughter loved this one so much I had to do another similar one for her.
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